Blue Planet Project campaigner Meera Karunananthan is in Indonesia this week and South Korea next week for key global water justice interventions.
In Indonesia, she will be meeting with various allies, including representatives of KruHa (The People’s Coalition for the Right to Water). In 2012, the Blue Planet Project partnered with this group to produce a report on the right to water. The report focused on the World Bank-imposed market-based water policies that have led to deep inequalities in access to water and sanitation in Indonesia. It demonstrated how water legislation introduced in 2004 contradicts a long history of respecting water as a commons in Indonesian tradition.
In late February of this year, Karunananthan wrote, “In a landmark ruling, the Indonesian Constitutional Court [has] ruled to annul a water law passed by the Indonesian government in 2004 under pressure from the World Bank. Law No. 7 on Water Resources was part of a $300 million US World Bank loan. It deemed water to be an economic good and changed resource management rules in the country in order to make ground and surface water accessible to multinational corporations. It also strengthened the role of the private sector in the delivery of water services.”
Karunananthan will then attend activities around the 7th World Water Forum that takes place from April 12-17 in Daegu, Gyeongbuk, South Korea.
Blue Planet Project founder Maude Barlow explains, “The World Water Forum is convened by big business lobby organizations like the Global Water Partnership, the World Bank, and the leading for-profit water corporations on the planet. The discussions focus on how companies can benefit from selling water to markets around the world. While governments are present, they are not in charge.”
The Blue Planet Project has been intervening against the World Water Forum for the past fifteen years. This has included The Hague in 2000, Kyoto in 2003, Mexico City in 2006, Istanbul in 2009, Marseille in 2012 and now in Daegu.
Blue Planet Project and KruHa together on the right to water (March 2012 blog)
Our Right to Water: An Expose on Foreign Pressure to Derail the Human Right to Water in Indonesia (2012 report)
Photo: Karunananthan, KruHa activist Muhammad Reza, Transnational Institute activist Satoko Kishimoto, Barlow in France, 2012.